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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Confidence

When I was in the military, I was going to be an officer, once.  I would read many things on leadership, just as I did when I was completing my MBA.  One of the things that I read was that confidence was more important than being right.  When you are in the midst of a battle, you don't want someone that is so preoccupied with picking the best option that they don't make any movements at all.  You want someone that finds an option and goes for it with commitment.  

I have mentioned a few times that there were many things that went into my last divorce, but today I was realizing that a lot of it centers around confidence... or particularly my ex's lack of it.  I don't say that to condemn her.  I feel bad for her, as I did for a lot of the marriage, but let me explain.

My ex had a bad history with men... beginning as a child.  Yes.. that.  She couldn't shake that for a long time.. really ever, but I will get to that.  She felt guilty, even though she was a victim.  That isn't the only thing that she would be victimized with... it continued with her ex and her mother.  When I met her, I remember feeling that she deserved to have a good, happy life, and I was committed to giving her that. However, I didn't predict that the emotional wounds would end up robbing her of that.

Despite my giving her affirmation and telling her on many occasions that I didn't find fault in her physical challenges or such, she was fixed in her self esteem issues such that it didn't matter what I said.  She always felt that she was not good enough for me or continued to go back to believing I felt that she was not good enough... again, no matter what I said.  She also would not initiate things with me, because she didn't have the confidence in herself to do so.  And, since I was not dumping her, she took the first opportunity to call it quits, refusing counseling, because, as she said, "I don't think it would change anything."  Then, once I left after she ended it, she would present herself as... ding ding ding... a victim, again, all because she could not believe in us or herself.

As I said, I feel bad for her.  I did the whole way.  Even at the end, I realized some of this, but here's the thing.  I didn't marry a therapy patient.  I wasn't her counselor.  I was her husband.  It wasn't and isn't my job to GET her to express her emotions or show care.  It wasn't my place to make her believe her herself.  You can only give someone the tools with which to believe, but they have to make that choice, themselves.

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I'VE MADE a lot of mistakes... meaning, I took the steps and gave it a shot.  In The Lost City, which I just saw and love, there is one scene where Sandra Bullock said about taking a risk at finding a treasure, "What if I go and there isn't anything there?"  Channing Tatum replies, "So what?  At least we can say we tried."  That is very true.  Yes, I've made a lot of mistakes, and I will continue to do so.  But, that's because I believe in myself enough to try, and I will continue to have that faith and courage.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

May 2022 Playlist 4

May 2022 Playlist 4 On YouTube and Spotify 



It’s a Learning Experience

If I were going to pick key lessons in my growth over the years one of them would be to not see everything as a personal curse and instead see everything as a learning experience. 

I still see or hear people chanting ’woe is me’ and detailing how unfair life has been to them.  I get it.  I’ve done that, myself.  You feel like you have it worse than others, and you just want your fair share.  But, that misses a few important points.

First, not everyone has it perfect.  In fact, MOST people will struggle through various crisis over the years.  You may have just met them before they had theirs, or you may have caught them after they made it through.  Or, they COULD be facing something that you don't even know about.

Second, I realized one time when reflecting on it that I was seeing it from the wrong perspective.  I was really facing this when I had a VERY ADHD oldest child and had to work through that.  I realized that instead of asking why it was that I had to face that, I should be seeing it from my daughter's point of view.  Imagine, instead, that God said he had someone that was going to have this challenge and thought... who do I know that can handle this and do a good job.  You were selected.

Finally, I learned that everything is a learning experience.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust, as Scripture says.  Things are going to happen.  However, if you spend a long time thinking about the fairness of it all, you will miss the ability to LEARN from your part in it, so you are more prepared for the next time you will face something like that and thus avoid future frustrations.

So, when things happen, I will get people apologizing for how hard a situation is, but my mind is already in learning mode applying the lessons of the current situation for a better future decision tree, instead of getting angry or passing judgement on the realities that are current and beyond my ability to make any different.  I think that is a good perspective for everyone to have for their situations.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Romance

Reflecting more on the topic Why do we say “romanticize” to refer to seeing the potential and good in things, even when it isn’t really there?  

The romantic period in literature was actually my favorite period of poetry and got me first interested in literature.  In that period, emotion and things deeper than obvious was the driving force.  Why?  Because the periods before was empty of it and needed it to balance.  

We often see more than exists or less than exists in others and situations.  Our society in recognizing this tells us to avoid that and stick to the facts so as to protect ourselves.  It is true that it can protect us from harm, but it can also prevent us from having anything magical or romantic in our lives, as well.

I’m not saying that there are not toxic situations or that sometimes people won’t just want to be friends.  I face that a lot.  Caution is needed but so is hope.  

Sometimes, it is good to believe and see the intangible, even as it’s important to recognize when that is not based on real potential.  I have come to understand that the only way moving forward to happiness can happen is to begin every potential with optimism and be able to shift gears or change lanes to other potential as the realities of each option become clear.  It’s messy, but that is the only way to get to romantic magic.